Tag Archives: food

5 Things to Do in Michigan

michigan I visited Michigan recently and thought I would write a post about fun things to do in the state.





1. Eat!CT  CTFL 080911-TRAVEL sc-trav-0808-food-mackinac-fudge MJW
If you go at the right time of year (summer), there are fresh cherries and blueberries (a specialty), available at the many fruit stands and farmers markets around the state. Also, Macinac Island is home to amazing fudge. In fact, the island itself is pretty amazing.


beach_water_quality_web2. Swimming!
Michigan has so many beautiful beaches and lakes to swim in, including the Great Lakes. It’s a great way to escape the heat, and it’s good exercise too!



3. Outdoor Music!
A great way to relax is by listening to music, and you can do it enjoying the fresh air too. You can listen to something different (without auto-tune) and support small bands.

4. Scenery!
Get outside, get exercise, and see the beautiful scenery. There are so many lakes, forests, and beaches to see, and you’ll want to see them all.

5. Wildlife!
Living in the city, we don’t really see much wildlife, besides the occasional squirrel or raccoon, but Michigan has more to offer in that department. You can spot deer pretty easily (if you’re paying attention), and many other animals you wouldn’t find at home. Just be careful, you wouldn’t want to run into a bear out in the woods.

I’ve listed some of the things to do in Michigan, but obviously not all of them. You can check out some of these travel guides at the library to help find amazing sites and things to do while you’re there:

-Corinna, Greenwood, Teen Blogger


Kudos to FEEST and Teen Organizers!

FEEST Scarcity or AbundanceLast night I had the pleasure of hosting a program (for the Spring Gardening Series) at Douglass-Truth from F.E.E.S.T.  They are a local teen organization that’s gotten some national press, and believe me, they deserve it.  The fact that they are all about food and social issues around food is clearly good, but it was the way they created an environment that blew me away.

They are all teens (and one teacher assistant) from Nova Alternative School.  Here’s three of the teens who were there (the two 2nd and 3rd from left and the one on the end on the right).  They came prepared to do a teen/adult program but the folks who came were mostly elementary kids who happened to be at Douglass-Truth.  The teens turned their program on a dime to accommodate a different audience and did a fabulous job.  One of the great things they do is set the “community agreements” at the top of the program.

These include:

  1. Don’t yuk on my yum.  Self-explanatory, but what a great phrase, eh?
  2. Step Up, Step Back.  The idea is that you step up, say what you need/want to say and then step back to give others a chance to step up. Many of us need this reminder!
  3. Participate fully.
  4. When a person is talking, pay attention.

What was great to watch was how the kids responded to these teens and how the FEEST teens responded to the kids and teens from other high schools.  FEEST provided food at the top of the program: granola bars, apples (little ones, which I thought was great) and oranges.  Two kids repeatedly threw their oranges in the air which the teen presenters tolerated much better than I would have (but I wasn’t running the show).  The teens had no problem with this behavior but they did monitor the kids for paying attention to the speaker and raised the expectation when necessary by reminding them that it was in the community agreements.  WORKED like a charm.

FEEST brought 4 herbs for us to explore and slowly brought our attention to every detail through our various senses, sight, feel, taste, etc.  The kids responded to this unbelievably well. Really.  They were over the moon about investigating rosemary, parsley, cilantro and mint. They were very focused on the task – I think it was because their views and responses were treated as though they really meant something.  There was simply a level of respect from the FEEST teens to everyone in the room and the audience responded by taking themselves seriously (but not without a great deal of humor).  After the program, one kid took a plate of parsley home with him and after he left the meeting room, shared some of it and some information about it with a Douglass-Truth staffer.  From teen to kid to adult… Nice circle.

FEEST did a guided meditation, a community building ice breaker called “Common Ground” which was fun for everyone and let everyone get to know each other, showed a short video and created a strong, positive energy in the room that was truly amazing.  Afterwards, they met with each other to go over what had worked and what thoughts they had about the future programs. I left them (reluctantly) to give them privacy to talk amongst themselves, but went back afterwards and they were in high spirits and feeling very good about themselves.  I shared some of these same thoughts with them and they seemed genuinely touched to be so appreciated.

We could learn a lot from them.  They have developed a culture in their organization that other groups would do well to study.

I saw something different in that room.  These teens were prepared, poised, relevant and showed great leadership skills.



Teen Center Librarian

The Perils of Being Raised Organically

USDA organic

USDA organic

 In this day and age, almost everyone knows the advantages of eating organic, local food. To list just a couple as examples, they are: the lack of pesticides, supporting local farmers, and encouraging the proper treatment of animals. But speaking as someone who was raised eating organic, there are several disadvantages.

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Best Bites of Seattle

As a foodie, I planned on giving out some gift certificates to favorite eateries this holiday season. Which begged the question: what’s the best Seattle has to offer? It was then I realized that all of my favorite places are simple, hole-in-the-wall joints ignored by most of Seattle’s denizens… Hopefully no longer! I now share with the world this compendium of Seattle’s Best Bites Which Are Affordable, Undiscovered by Most Seattleites and In No Particular Order.
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No Wheaties Allowed


I don’t know how many teens are wheat/gluten-free, like me, but I think there are actually quite a few of us. There’s a pretty big market for gluten free products right now, and people who are celiacs or are avoiding wheat/gluten are being presented with far more options than they have been in the past. Great news for anyone (especially me) who loves to bake! 🙂

Recently, I’ve discovered a number of fun gluten-free cookbooks. My favorite so far has been Blackbird Bakery Gluten Free. Everything I’ve tried is fun, elegant and delicious. The pancake recipe yields the best freakin’ pancakes on the planet! They are AMAZING. I may never use another pancake recipe again… I’ve also included a picture of some almond cakes with raspberry jam I made. 

So… want to start baking? 🙂

Post by Kenaia Neumann, 15

Teen Center Adviser

Shops in Seattle: DeLaurenti

Though located at Pike Place Market, a major Seattle landmark, it seems few people I know have heard of DiLaurenti. It’s a little European shop that sells all sorts of Italian imports; cheese, crackers, chocolate, oils, unique salts, salami and loads of other items.

Recently I bought a bar of ‘white citrus’ chocolate there – it was delicious! An unusual but entirely appealing combination.

I was also delighted with my discovery of some chopped up octopus tentacles in a box.

I don’t eat seafood, ESPECIALLY not octopus. I just thought it was hilarious that this ‘Spanish Octopus,’ as the container proudly proclaimed, was sold in a cardboard box. Probably inside a tin within the box, but still. A box!

So… I bought it for my friend as a birthday present. Yes, I’m weird. But that’s beside the point.

DiLaurenti is by far my favorite shop at Pike Place. Plus, there’s a doughnut stand just across the hall.  It smells wonderful – don’t even try to resist the temptation of fresh, fried, sugary doughnuts.

I know your mouth is watering. Why wait? Put this doughnut cookbook on hold at your library!

Post by Kenaia Neumann, 15
Teen Center Adviser

Death by Fishies!?!

Would you eat something that could kill you?  What if your friend ate it, how about then?

Tons of people eat puffer fish every year and most live to tell the tale.  Just Hungry, a blog written by Maki, a native Japanese foodie now living in Switzerland, is asking whether the casual reader would ever try puffer fish.  Her post is really informative and I loved reading about how puffer fish is served and which parts of the fish are poisonous.

So, would you eat puffer fish if it were offered to you?  By an experienced and certified chef, of course. 

Puffer by Paul Albertella

Doesn’t he look safe to eat? Continue reading